I was asked recently if Pokemon cards were banned at school. This is a question that many headteachers have been asked over the years, substituting Pokemon cards for football cards/stickers, loom bands, conkers, marbles (pick your own craze!), etc. The answer is ‘no’ as I think that the maths and the strategy involved is quite exciting and beneficial. The problem comes when cards change hands and the children involved suddenly wish they hadn’t and become upset by that.
At this point, it becomes very difficult to establish whose cards are whose, and what happened exactly and where does the line of fairness lie. To that end, whilst I am happy for children to bring the cards and compare notes and have their mock battles with them, I am not keen on cards changing hands in school without parent/carers’ knowledge or consent. School cannot take responsibility for any Pokemon (or similar) cards in school and what may happen to them. They only become a problem when they become a problem!
As a broader point, children shouldn’t be bringing to school any personal belongings that would cause them upset should they get lost or stolen. We will always investigate any such allegations but not having the items in school in the first place will reduce the chance of such incidents happening at all. We will always provide the necessary stationery and pens/pencils needed to complete the planned learning though we do ask parents/carers to provide PE/swimming kit (named for the same reasons!). Your co-operation in this is much appreciated; nobody likes losing items that are important to us…best to keep them safe at home!